Although most alpine and winter sports involve purchasing a wide ranging array of critical gear items that one must have in order to successfully and comfortably navigate the elements, there are few sports where this is more true than with the sport of freeskiing. This is a sport that can be approached so many different ways, from the weekend warrior ski-lift approach, to the rugged wilderness freeskier that can be found out hiking into the backcountry for the most pristine, untouched powder runs. No matter where an individual fits in along the spectrum of freeskiing dynamics, there is really no debate about the critical nature of high quality gear and equipment items and how they can make or break one’s freeskiing experience.
With that being said, for the benefit of freeskiers of all ages, preferences, and skill levels, this 2017 freeskiing equipment buyer’s guide has been painstakingly assembled as a result of hours of researching the foremost equipment items heading into 2017. This buyer’s guide will cover some of the highest quality new ski designs of 2017, new boot designs, binding designs, and reviews of other up and coming accessories and equipment essentials. Some freeskiers may assume that if they had seen a similar buyer’s guide from 2016, then they will already be set in terms of knowing which innovations and new designs are floating around out there at the moment.
This is not always true however, since companies are producing brand-new and game changing innovations on a yearly basis as technologies continue to improve on an incremental basis. For this reason, it can be extremely helpful to review these kinds of freeskiing gear buyer’s guides on a yearly basis to avoid missing out on any groundbreaking new innovations and designs that could truly revolutionize one’s freeskiing experience. Although it always has been and always will be up to the skier to determine overall performance, few people would dispute the reality that with new technologies can come true increases in the comfort and enjoyment of a freeskier’s riding pursuits.
For some incredibly sleek and well designed freeskiing skis coming our way in 2017, look no further than the Armada JJ 2.0 skis. Not only are these skis immaculately built using cutting edge ski composites, their shaping and edge tapering are also state of the art. The Armada JJ 2.0 skis are generating so much buzz within the world of freeskiing as the heart of the 2017 freeskiing season is fast approaching, and already there are many freeskiing review outlets that are raving about the wildly good feel and handling they are achieving with these skis. Available in the sizes of 165cm, 175cm, 185cm, and 195cm, the 2017 Armada JJ 2.0 skis are purposefully built to be quite versatile and optimized to work well across an entire range of sizing dimensions.
The turn radius on these 2017 freeskiing skis by Armada is 17m @ 185, making them excellent skis for big mountain riding and all kinds of alpine freeskiing conditions. The 2017 Armada JJ 2.0 skis have been designed with a complex and well-engineered five-point sidecutting, which allows for variable turning dynamics in deep powder turns. Debuting with an MSRP of $825.00 the Armada JJ 2.0 skis are essentially a mid-to-upper tier ski model, and are definitely towards the premium end of the spectrum.
The next freeskiing skis that are coming onto the radar in a huge way in 2017 are the 4FRNT designed Hoji model skis. From the dimensionality of these skis, to their aesthetic designing, one look at the 2017 4FRNT Hoji skis and many freeskiers are hooked. Featuring both nose and tail in a cream colored design, the middle section of each ski is colored with a bright red with triangular designs toward the nose done in red. With a 4FRNT logo emblazoned across the top of the skis, they are eye-catching and minimalistic at the same time, which can appeal to a wide range of tastes. Available in the sizing options of 171cm, 179cm, 187cm, and an extra large 195cm model, the 2017 4FRNT Hoji skis have a sizing alternative that works for almost everyone.
With a functional turning radius of roughly 30m, these are very responsive skis that work well across a variety of freeskiing applications. The Hoji skis are actually a pro model ski, which is designed in part by legendary freeskier Eric Hjorleifson to be a ski perfect for bombing epic alpine runs. By combining both paulownia and poplar woods in the composition of the 2017 4FRNT Hoji skis, the designers were able to achieve a package that is intensely responsive and lightweight all at once. These skis are ideal for powder riding with their full-rocker profile design, and are some of the most buttery freeskis to come out in a long time. 2017 should be an interesting freeskiing season with these bad boys on the market, and with an MSRP of $749.99 we can expect them to sell quite fast.
Another fantastic freeski coming out in 2017 is an additional design from Armada, which is so impressive that it simply had to make this list. What we are talking about is the Armada Invictus 108 TI freeskiing design, which is brand new to 2017 and bringing a lot to the table. One of the biggest strengths being brought forth by the 2017 Armada Invictus 108 TI design is in its overall stability and smoothness on variable surfacing. These are skis designed for extreme charging, and they are engineered with stability at high speeds in mind. In terms of sheer durability and solidity of construction integrity with the 2017 Armada Invictus 108 TI design, these freeskis are built using carbon composites, multiple Titanal layers in the core progression, and also the inclusion of Kevlar in the composite layering.
These skis have been described by pros reviewing them as missiles flying down the mountain, capable of blasting through just about anything that comes their way. Also, being able to dampen vibrations and surface inconsistencies is a big deal when running at high speeds and that is something the 2017 Armada Invictus 108 TI skis do exceptionally well. Built with a reinforced nose rocker system, these Armadas have yet one more tool at their disposal to smash through the steep, deep snow when it piles up in front of the rider.
Basically every dimensional design aspect built into the 2017 Armada Invictus 108 TI freeskiing skis is all directed toward the objective of building a ski that is the ultimate in terms of being able to charge down the alpine landscape uninhibited by the terrain. Retailing at an MSRP of $875.00, the Armada Invictus freeskis are another entry on the higher end of the pricing spectrum but are well worth the money for intermediate to advanced skill level freeskiers.
Coming up in 2017 there are some pretty amazing and innovative new freeskiing binding designs emerging across a wide variety of different designers and manufacturers. A prime example of just such a binding is the 2017 G3 Ion 12 binding, which is just about as visually eye-catching as a ski binding can possibly be while at the same time bringing forward some of the most cutting edge ski binding technologies available today. With regard to some of these technologies and innovations, the 2017 G3 Ion 12 bindings are constructed and outfitted using a highly durable composite of glass-filled nylon in conjunction with aluminum body components.
This gives them an unbelievably tough durability rating that can withstand just about anything a freeskier can throw their way. An additional innovation that is equipped on the 2017 G3 Ion 12 bindings is their intuitive and unique toe stepping-in system that creates a dynamic where the rider can transition from lifts and other transfers with a high level of convenience and ease-of-use. Retailing with an MSRP of $549.00 these bindings are essentially at around the mid-level of freeskiing bindings pricing values, but in terms of how they stack up in the context of quality, they are certainly in the top tier.
For a truly elite freeskiing boot design heading into the 2017 season, the Lange Freetour XT 130 boots are definitely a cut above the rest. While they are without a doubt some of the best freeskiing boots coming out in 2017, they also carry a price to match as they retail at $950.00 right out of the gate. These boots are even visually stunning and attention-grabbing, featuring a vibrant lime green outer shell with all lime green tightening straps. The internals and padding on the boots are a bright blue color, creating a nice contrast with the lime green.
The plastic outer shell casing on the 2017 Lange Freetour XT 130 boots is a remarkably stiff and strong plastic for how lightweight it actually is, and this specific plastic utilized in the construction is known as Grilamid plastic. On the inside of these insanely well made freeskiing boots is another lightweight insulation material known as Ultralon. The Ultralon lining of the boots is perfect for deep powder conditions, since it handles water quite well.
With a roughly forty-three degree motion range in its hiking mode, these boots make hiking up hills a relative breeze compared to some other freeskiing boots out on the market today. The designers over at Lange also had their customers in mind when they designed these boots to be available in different width and specific sizing dynamics, so that people with unique foot widths and dimensions can still have access to a well-fitting Freetour XT 130 boot.
For a relatively low-profile and still high-volume freeskiing backpack in 2017, the Black Diamond Cirque 30 pack is a great choice for many riders. A soft, yet deep red coloration characterizes most of the packs outer aesthetic visual appearance, with black straps, buckles, and reinforced bottom section. This is definitely an effective pack selection for most freeskiing enthusiasts who simply need a pack that will support all of their varying gear and equipment necessities out on the mountain.
While the 2017 Black Diamond Cirque 30 backpack certainly covers most of the bases in terms of being able to haul the essentials and a bit more, at its foundation it is more or less a minimalist pack that is intended to be lightweight on the carrier. Featuring A-frame ski carrying systems that run at diagonals on the pack, owners of this backpack will really enjoy the ease of portability of their freeskis. Also, this backpack made sure to keep room for an ice axe holster, which is quite an important addition to the pack since having an ice axe can be critical for safety while hiking and skiing in certain conditions.
To top it all off, the 2017 Black Diamond Cirque 30 backpack is compatible with what is known as an AvaLung system, which is something a freeskier can carry in this pack to protect them in the event of an avalanche and subsequent burial under the snow. With an AvaLung system, the pack can release an inflatable airbag in the event of a snow burial that can create a pocket of air for the skier to survive in while help is on the way. Starting out with an MSRP of $180.00 in 2017, the Black Diamond Cirque 30 backpack is a phenomenal choice for any freeskiing enthusiasts who want a lot of pack for their money, but also want an option that is fairly lightweight and minimalistic.